Injury for Kings' Watson

2014-07-08 16:30
Luke Watson (Gallo Images)
Port Elizabeth - With just four weeks left before the Currie Cup starts, Carlos Spencer has announced an expanded team of 26 players to tackle the SWD Eagles in George on Friday evening.

Spencer, who has yet to decide on the captaincy of the squad following Luke Watson’s absence due to a slight rib injury, has made eight changes to his starting line-up in comparison to the game against the Sharks XV last week.

Up front Edgar Marutlulle will start at hooker in place of Albé de Swardt, who moves to the bench. Lizo Gqoboka and Charl du Plessis stay on at loosehead and tighthead respectively.

David Bullbring and Steven Cummins swap places, but stay in the starting line-up. Paul Schoeman comes in at No 6 in place of Thembelani Bholi, and will be accompanied at flank by Stefan Willemse in place of Devin Oosthuizen.

Aidon Davis will start at No 8, in place of Watson, who left the field after 20 minutes against the Sharks XV at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last week with a rib injury.

Spencer said Watson’s injury was not as bad as first expected and that he would be able to start training again next week.

Jaco Grobler takes over from Tobie Botes at scrumhalf, while Gary van Aswegen gets another run at flyhalf.

Sergeal Petersen comes up from the bench to take Siviwe Soyizwapi’s spot at wing, while Dwayne Jenner comes in at inside centre for Shane Gates, having recovered from a concussion during the game against Wales.

Gates moves to the bench, with Spencer saying that he was being rested following a slight calf strain.

Tim Whitehead remains at outside centre, getting his third game in a row, as Ronnie Cooke is still out due to injury. Scott van Breda also gets a break, with Ntabeni Dukisa coming in at fullback.

Notably on the bench is Paul Perez, who Spencer says is keen to get back out and play some rugby.

“The coaching staff are also looking forward to see what he can do,” he said.

BG Uys and Darron Nell also return to the team, along with Kevin Luiters and Hansie Graaf. Tom Botha and Shaun McDonald, both of whom put in sterling performances last week off the bench,  finish up the team of 26.

Spencer acknowledged that concerns had been raised that the SWD Eagles would not be fielding a full strength team against the EP Kings.

“It is a concern for us, same as with the Bulls and the Sharks, but right now it’s about us, not them, and we’re concentrating on what we have to work on,” he said.

The game will take place at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday (19:00 kick-off).

EP team:

15 Ntabeni Dukisa, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Dwayne Jenner, 11Sergeal Petersen, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Jaco Grobler, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Steve Cummins, 4 David Bulbring, 3 Charl du Plessis, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Lizo Gqoboka

Substitutes: Albé de Swardt, 17 Tom Botha, 18 BG Uys, 19 Darron Nell, 20 Shaun McDonald, 21 Cameron Lindsay, 22 Kevin Luiters, 23 George Whitehead, 24 Shane Gates, 25 Paul Perez, 26 Hansie Graaff


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